Following a number of years of coaching in the school and the input of the local Youth Development Officer, Jamie Gormly from Swords RFC, Leinster Rugby have this year recognised the efforts being made to promote the game in Holy Family Senior National School.
The recent visit of Leinster and Ireland stars Rob Kearney and Jonathan Sexton, along with the Triple Crown and Six Nations trophies to the school, proved a terrific success and caused tremendous excitement.
As a follow up, a seven-week series of mixed tag sessions run by Christian Stemmet, Leinster Community Rugby Officer/Fingal County Council, saw some 120 sixth class students playing the game.
Five class teachers were also actively involved with these sessions, further broadening the contact of school personnel with the game.
Currently two separate groups of boys - one from 3rd and 4th classes, and the other from 5th and 6th classes - are involved in twice weekly training sessions with Dave O'Keeffe and Jamie Gormly.
Tag classes for boys and girls in 3rd and 4th class are also part of the school's PE programme. In all, over 300 children are experiencing the game at some level in this one primary school.
The need to continually support the work being undertaken in schools such as HFSNS is obvious if rugby in Leinster and Ireland is to continue to grow and we are to encourage our young people to become involved in and stay involved with our wonderful game.
If you are in the area and would like further information on rugby in your school or club, please contact Christian Stemmet, Leinster/Fingal Co. Council Community Rugby Officer on tel: 0879118642, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.